A Florida woman who bragged about taping a dog's mouth shut on Facebook has been convicted of animal cruelty. Katharine Lemansky was found guilty Friday and sentenced to a year of supervised probation, ABC 11 reports. Lemansky, who posted the offending photo under the name Katie Brown, must also pay court fees.
In November of last year, Lemansky shared a photo on Facebook showing her chocolate lab, Brown, with his mouth forcefully shut with duct tape. "This is what happens when you don't shut up!" Lemansky captioned the photo. The photo quickly went viral, stirring outrage from animal rights activists before ultimately leading to the involvement of local Cary, N.C. officials.
"Don't panic everyone," Lemansky wrote in a follow-up comment. "It was only for a minute but hasn't barked since… POINT MADE!!!" Lemansky, 45, lives in Florida but was visiting North Carolina at the time. Cary police formally charged her with animal cruelty later that month.
Speaking to the court Friday, Cary Animal Control Supervisor Shelly Smith said Lemansky had admitted to taping the dog's mouth but claimed she had "accidentally posted the picture to Facebook," intending instead to send it to her son. Brown, according to Shelly, had no visible signs of hair loss or other injuries, so authorities allowed Lemansky to keep the dog.
"This is one of those cases where a picture's worth a thousand words," District Judge Jackie Brewer said during the proceedings, according to the Miami Herald. Brewer initially gave Lemansky a 60-day jail sentence, though that was suspended to the aforementioned 12-month supervised probation.